I Missed my Wake County Court Date...Now What?

Missing a court date, whether intentional or not, can carry serious consequences, including additional fines, revocation of your driver’s license, issuance of an order for your arrest, and/or forfeiture of your bond.   

If you miss a court date in Wake County, your name is called in the courtroom and you fail to appear, this is known as being “called and failed”.  This information is entered into the court system. If you fail to show up within 20 days after you are called and failed, a failure to appear, or FTA, will be entered for your case.

Called and Failed & FTA

Once you have missed your scheduled court date, you will have 20 days to appear and obtain a new court date.  If after 20 days you do not obtain a new court date, a Failure to Appear will be entered and reported to the NC DMV.  The DMV will send a letter notifying you that your license will be revoked if the matter is not handled within 60 days from the FTA. The DMV may revoke your license indefinitely for failure to appear or failure to pay court costs/fines. Your license will remain suspended until the underlying charge is resolved in court.

Consequences of a Failure to Appear

Not only are there DMV consequences of a FTA, there is also a $200 fee. (Not including any late fees or license reinstatement fees.)  Depending on the severity of the original charge, you also run the risk of having an order for your arrest issued. For minor traffic infraction, such as speeding, the consequences of missing court end with the DMV and payment penalties. For more serious driving offenses such as Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) and all other misdemeanor or felony charges, failing to appear for court will likely result in the issuing of an order for your arrest. Depending on the nature of the charge, the order for arrest may even be issued the same day you missed court. This is why it is important to act quickly if you miss your court date.

Order for Arrest

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office may come to your home or place of work to arrest you, or you may be stopped for making a minor traffic violation and the officer could see the order for your arrest.  Once arrested, you will likely be required to post a bond in order to ensure your appearance at a later court date. If you are already under a bond and fail to appear for court, your bond may be forfeited, and you could be charged with a criminal offense.

How to Handle a Failure to Appear?

If you have just missed court or you have received a letter from the DMV about the suspension of your license, you should hire a skilled attorney to assist you with your failure to appear. They can advise you of the exact nature and consequences pursuant to your particular case. The consequences of missing a court date can be substantial and start a negative spiral of events.  If you’ve missed court in Wake County, North Carolina contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel immediately at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can advise you how to best minimize the consequences of failing to appear for court.  Oftentimes, we are able to eliminate the consequences entirely by having a judge strike the FTA and order for arrest.  Usually, the cost of retaining our services is less than the cost of posting a bond and could save you the unnecessary embarrassment of being arrested.




Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.